I’ve been in California for about 3 weeks now, and it’s been a vortex of amazing people, inspiring farms, and tasty elixirs. Right off the plane in San Francisco, I met a girl crazy passionate about sustainable development and permaculture with extensive experience in sustainable natural building… and she just so happens to love doing wine promotions. She was meeting a friend out here, who is an amazing young sustainable farmer and loves fermenting wine and home brewing. I really couldn’t have connected with people more aligned with my own passions… talk about synchronicity.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on this lately since my uncle passed away last month. He was in and out of state hospitals for a large part of his life, being diagnosed with epilepsy since a young age, and manic depression and schizophrenia since his late teens. He was on a variety of medications for the last 30 years of his life, which along with his imbalance, prevented him from having any type of normal life. He was never able to have a job or work in society, and never had the ability to build a family. I became pretty close to him over the years given our love for music, poetry, and art, as well as my deep lifelong interest in the mind and mental illness… what it is, why it occurs. And in that process I came to know who he was, which on many levels was a highly intelligent, pure soul. He would always laugh, always be pure of heart. I’m not even sure he could conceptualize a lie, let alone tell one. I came to wonder, what it was that caused this intense idiopathic problem. Was it genes, was it his environment, his experiences?
Serendipity is a very powerful idea. To the extreme rationalist or scientist, there is no such thing… only random coincidences. To the mystic or artist, it is everything, the reason for breathing for living for creating. In the extremely rational world of the industrialized west, we have lost touch with serendipity. We have forgotten how to get in tune with it, to see it, to let it be the guiding force in our life. How do we remember?
There are more and more health studies piling up showing the powerful effects of Resveratrol. As we noted over 3 years ago (The Human Elixir), there are companies, such as Sirtris, in existence specifically to synthesize this molecule into an anti-aging drug. Supposedly Resveratrol helps the production of more efficient mitochondria, whereas most antioxidants only neutralize free radicals in the system. This is like creating a more efficient engine that pollutes less vs. sequestering carbon. Beyond this, there have been numerous tests showing Resveratrol’s ability to kill forms of cancer, help with caloric restriction, increase life expectancy through diminished probability of contracting diseases like Alzheimer’s and diabetes, and many say it is the reason for the famous French Paradox. As a result of all this press and consumer awareness, the market is flooding with Resveratrol pills and supplements, claiming to extend life and end all ailments.
However, interestingly enough, there is evidence that suggests that it is not the Resveratrol that gives red wine its health benefits…
Found an amazing place right outside of Siena where they grow sangiovese, olives, fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts… all in balance or promiscuo as they say. Not a vineyard, not a farm… I call it a taste palace, maybe there’s a better name out there. I might work with them to install a major solar setup and some biohydrogen generating algae ponds. In my dreams, right?